Theory and History of Ontology

by Raul Corazzon | e-mail: rc@ontology.co

FEBRUARY 18th, 2018: THIS SITE WILL BE NO FURTHER UPDATED. PLEASE USE: Theory and History of Ontology

ebook: Ontology | Logic

Download site as a PDF or eBook

 

  • "History Logic" and "Bibliographia" are my other websites. "Table of Contents" gives the list of the pages, for other indexes see the "Sitemap". "Modern Ontologists" contains a table with links to the pages on the most important philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries who have written on ontology. The "Search" function can be used to find a particular author or subject.

 

Living Ontologists - A Bibliographical Guide: J - L

These pages will give some essential bibliographical information about some of the most important living ontologists; only a few titles will be cited for every author.

  • Jacek Juliusz Jadacki
  • Ingvar Johansson
  • Saul Kripke
  • Karel J. Lambert
  • Henry Laycock

Jacek Juliusz Jadacki

  1. Jadacki, Jacek Juliusz. 1999. "On Forms of Objects." In Shapes of Forms. From Gestalt Psychology and Phenomenology to Ontology and Mathematics, 341-359. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    "Let us call all objective objects simply 'objects', and all subjective objects `quasi-objects'. Two distinctions - between concreteness-abstractness and extramentality-mentality - seem to be made, strictly speaking, only among objects: quasi-objects are at most quasi-concrete or quasi-abstract, and quasiextramental or quasi-mental. Secondly, only objects can be observable or material, although some of them are probably noumenal or ideal. Thirdly, all objects are empirical or individual. Fourthly, all quasi-objects are noumenal or ideal. Thus we cannot claim that the differences between observability and noumenality are not "ontologically essential". On the other hand, it is true that ontological forms are not identical with epistemological forms. "Objects perceived in different ways need not belong to different ontological categories". Fifthly, only quasi-objects can be fictitious or universal, though some of them are probably empirical or individual. Thus, since only (individual or universal) fictions are incompatible, only quasi-objects possess the property of incompatibility.

    (...)

    I am dubious of the view that existence is not a property, since it is not backed by adequate arguments. An answer to the question 'which objects exist?' should be preceded by an answer to the question 'which intuitions ought to be preserved?'. It seems to me that the following statement comes closest to the intuitions of common sense:

    For every x: x exists iff x is objective.

    Existence would not be a property only if it had to be something identifiable with no property from among properties characterized in this paper. But then the question of what exists would be questionae gustuum and not questionae fact.

    The problem of ontological forms puts us to a great deal of trouble not so much because scholars differ on accepted solutions as because we do not exactly know what these differences consist of." pp. 355-356. (Notes omitted)

  2. ———. 2003. From the Viewpoint of the Lvov-Warsaw School. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  3. Jadacki, Jacek Juliusz, and Augustynek, Zdzislaw. 1993. Possible Ontologies. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    Contents: J. J. Jadacki: Preface 7; Book I. Z. Augustynek: Point Eventism. An Outline of a Certain Ontology 15; Book II.: J. J. Jadacki: Ontological Mininmum 101: Discussions. Katarzyna Paprzycka: Carnap and Leibniz on the Problem of Being 163; Piotr Przybysz: Polish Discussions about Reism 179-193.

  4. Jadacki, Jacek Juliusz, and Pasniczek, Jacek. 2006. The Lvov-Warsaw School: The New Generation. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Ingvar Johansson

  1. Johansson, Ingvar. 1975. A Critique of Karl Popper's Methodology. Stockholm: Akademiförlaget.

  2. ———. 1989. Ontological Investigations. An Inquiry into the Categories of Nature, Man, and Society. London: Routledge.

    Second revised edition: Frankfurt, Ontos Verlag 2004.

  3. ———. 2000. "Determinables as Universals." Monist no. 83:101-121.

Saul Kripke

  1. Kripke, Saul. 1980. Naming and Necessity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  2. ———. 1982. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  3. ———. 2011. Philosophical Troubles. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Collected Papers, Volume 1.

Studies in His Work

  1. Fitch, George W. 2004. Saul Kripke. Chesham: Acumen.

  2. Hughes, Christopher. 2004. Kripke. Names, Necessity, and Identity. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  3. Humphreys, Paul W., and Fetzer, James H., eds. 1998. The New Theory of Reference: Kripke, Marcus, and Its Origins. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Karel J. Lambert

  1. Lambert, Karel. 1967. "Free Logic and the Concept of Existence." Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic no. 8:133-144.

  2. ———. 1970. "Russell's Theory of Definite Descriptions." Dialectica no. 44:137-152.

  3. ———. 1972. "Being and Being So." In Jenseits Von Sein Und Nichtsein, edited by Haller, Rudolf, 37-46. Graz: Akademische Druck u. Verlagsanstalt.

  4. ———. 1974. "Impossible Objects." Inquiry no. 17:303-314.

    "This paper deals with the Meinong-Russell controversy on nonsubsistent objects. The first part notes the similarity of certain contemporary semantical developments to Meinong's theory of nonsubsistent objects. Then it lays out the major features of Meinong's famous theory, considers Russell's objections to same and Meinong's counter-objections to Russell, and argues that Russell's well-known argument fails. However, it is possible to augment Russell's argument against Meinong with sound Russellian principles in such a way that it presents at least a strong inclining reason against Meinong's theory of impossible objects."

  5. ———. 1974. "Predication and Extensionality." Journal of Philosophical Logic no. 3:255-264.

    "Predication, writes W. V. Quine, "joins a general term and a singular term to form a sentence that is true or false according as the general term is true or false of the object, if any, to which the singular term refers". (1) The view of predication expressed by Quine in the quoted passage is not restricted to Quine; P. F. Strawson, for example, though perhaps not a rabid supporter of Quine's choice of words, is on record as finding the theory congenial with his own views. (2)

    Quine has also written that "so long merely as the predicated general term is true of the object named by the singular term... the substitution of a new singular term that names the same object leaves the predication true." (3) Nevertheless, most of my efforts will be directed at establishing that the theory of predication expressed in Quine's words is nonextensional.

    To be precise about my quite limited objective, I need Quine's help just once more. He writes that "in an opaque construction you also cannot in general supplant a general term by a coextensive term (one true of the same objects)... without disturbing the truth value of the containing sentence. Such a failure is one of the failures of extensionality." (4) The theory of predication under consideration is, I claim, non-extensional in the sense that it does not satisfy the extensionality principle that coextensive general terms substitute for each other salva veritate; proof of this claim is my major objective.

    My secondary objective is to elicit some of the implications of the claim that the theory of predication under discussion is nonextensional."

    (1) W. V. Quine, Word and object, Wiley, New York, 1960, p. 96

    (2) P. F. Strawson, "Singular terms and predication", The Journal of Philosophy, 58 (1961).

    (3) Op. cit. Word and object, pp. 142-143.

    (4) Ibid., p. 151.

  6. ———. 1976. "On "the Durability of Impossible Objects"." Inquiry no. 19:251-253.

  7. ———. 1981. "On the Philosophical Foundations of Free Logic." Inquiry no. 24:147-203.

    "The essay outlines the character of free logic, and motivation for its construction and development. It details some technical achievements of high philosophical interest, hut urges that the role of existence assumptions in logic is still not fully understood, that unresolved old problems, both technical and philosophical, abound, and presents some new problems of considerable philosophical import in free logic."

  8. ———. 1983. Meinong and the Principle of Independence. Its Place in Meinong's Theory of Objects and Its Significance in Contemporary Philosophical Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  9. ———. 1986. "Nonexistent Objects: Why Theories About Them Are Important." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 25/26:439-446.

    "This essay argues for the importance of developing theories of nonexistent objects. The grounds are utility and smoothness of logical theory. In the latter case a parallel with the theory of negative and imaginary numbers is exploited. The, essay concludes with a counterexample to a general argument against the enterprise of developing theories of nonexistent objects, and outlining the foremost problem an adequate theory of nonexistent objects must solve."

  10. ———. 1987. "On the Philosophical Foundations of Free Description Theory." History and Philosophy of Logic no. 8:57-66.

  11. ———, ed. 1991. Philosophical Applications of Free Logic. New York: Oxford University Press.

  12. ———. 1992. "Russell's Version of the Theory of Definite Descriptions." Philosophical Studies no. 65:153-167.

  13. ———. 1995. "Substitution and the Expansion of the World." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 49:129-143.

    "The major goal of this paper is to argue that a well known argument to overturn the principle that coextensive predicates substitute in any statement without alteration of truth value can be avoided - even in the simplest of languages. Apparently this can be clone nonartificially only by expanding the universe with nonexisting objects. It is not proved that the principle of substitution salva veritate holds in Meinongian model structures, but in fact it does - as any completeness proof of free logics based on inner domain-outer domain semantics will show. If - as some have suggested - Meinong's views are compatible with the attitudes of a complete extensionalist, and he subscribed to the outlined modern theory of predication, there is no escape from Aussersein. That may seem terribly obvious, but in the light of the development of free logics, more than mere conviction is needed. This dogmatic intuition is supplanted with some strong inclining reasons."

  14. ———. 1997. Free Logics: Their Foundations, Character, and Some Applications Thereof. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag.

  15. ———. 2000. "Set Theory and Definite Descriptions. Four Solutions in Search of a Common Problem." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 60:1-12.

  16. ———. 2003. Free Logic. Selected Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  17. Lambert, Karel, and Fraassen, Bas C.van. 1972. Derivation and Counterexample. An Introduction to Philosophical Logic. Encino: Dickenson.

  18. Lambert, Karel, and Ulrich, William. 1980. The Nature of Argument. New York: Macmillan.

Henry Laycock

  1. Laycock, Henry. 1972. "Some Questions of Ontology." Philosophical Review no. 81:3-42.

  2. ———. 1975. "Theories of Matter." Synthese no. 31:411-442.

  3. ———. 2006. Words without Objects. Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    "The book seeks to resolve the so-called 'problem of mass nouns' - a problem which cannot be resolved on the basis of a conventional system of logic. It is not, for instance, possible to explicate assertions of the existence of air, oil, or water through the use of quantifiers and variables which take objectual values. The difficulty is attributable to the semantically distinctive status of non-count nouns - nouns which, although not plural, are nonetheless akin to plural nouns in being semantically non-singular. Such are the semantics of a non-singular noun, that there can be no such single thing or object as the thing of which the noun is true. However, standard approaches to understanding non-singular nouns tend to be reductive, construing them as singular expressions - expressions which, in the case of non-count nouns, are true of 'parcels' or 'quantities' of stuff, and in the case of plural nouns, are true of 'plural entities' or 'sets'. It is argued that both approaches are equally misguided, that there are no distinctive objects in the extensions of non-singular nouns. With plural nouns, their extensions are identical with those of the corresponding singular expressions. With non-count nouns, because they are not plural, there can be no corresponding singular expressions. In consequence, there are no objects in the extensions of non-count nouns at all. In short, there are no such things as instances of stuff: the world of space and time contains not merely large numbers of discrete concrete things or individuals of diverse kinds, but also large amounts of sheer undifferentiated concrete stuff. Metaphysically, non-singular reference in general is an arbitrary modality of reference, ungrounded in the realities to which it is non-ideally or intransparently correlated."

  4. ———. 2006. "Variables, Generality and Existence: Considerations on the Notion of a Concept-Script." In Topics on General and Formal Ontology, edited by Valore, Paolo, 27-52. Milano: Polimetrica Publisher.